Monday, January 11, 2010
Yesterday's funeral got me thinking about other funerals and my mother-in-law's was one I will never forget.
Anyone who ever met Shirley knew what a character she was. Although she was uneducated, she was extremely bright. She would come out with the most outlandish statements imaginable, then roll her eyes and pretend to be a senile old lady. I For example, instead of being insulted, the Chinese doctor she tried to order egg rolls from, just laughed.
One of the things she was serious about was her funeral. She knew exactly what she wanted and let everyone know, years before the event occurred. She had the red dress she wanted to be buried in hanging in the front of her closet. She had her shoes picked out. She ordered everyone to wear red. When the time came, these orders were easy to fulfill. Her one other request was not so simple She wanted to be put in the ground backwards. She was afraid that the tombstone on her head for eternity would give her a major headache and my father-in-law was a loud snorer, she didn't want to be head-to-head with him and have to listen to that noise for the rest of her life. When we explained the first couple of requests to the rabbi, he said, "no problem. " When we told her last one to him, he said "that might be a problem." Caskets clearly have a place for the head and a place for the feet and cemeteries only want bodies put in the ground one way. He said, he would see what he could do. The funeral home was the one that had to deal with this. They had to put her in the coffin correctly, so the body could be identified before the funeral. After the funeral, they took the top off the coffin and put in on backwards so the cemetery would think her head was wear her feet were and she could go in the ground the way she wanted.
To this day, we stand at the foot of the grave whenever we visit her.